Monthly Archives: June 2013

And so it begins…

And so the work of boot camp begins…

Characters & Viewpoints

Look what I just got in the mail!

Before getting into the heart of this post, please allow me to step out of character* for one quick moment and say: OMG!! OMG!! Orson Scott Card just sent me a book! Okay, so probably, realistically, his really lovely assistant just me a book, but if you click on the picture and look closely at the Return Address it says it’s from him.

Other than simply nerding out, and wanting to share that goofy bit of myself with everyone, I’m also posting this because I want to keep a record of the entire process. Mostly because I am terribly forgetful and want to actually remember how it all happened, but also because reading other participants’ posts on the experience was why I decided to take the plunge and even apply.

While this isn’t the first step of the entire process (that was applying), it is the first stage of work.

The book above, Card’s Characters & Viewpoint, is my homework for the next month. I need to have it memorized read by the time I get on that plane in July. I’m not all that worried about the reading. The few pages I’ve read are simply written and totally accessible. Not surprising.

I am, however, at bit afraid of my retention of the information (due to that faulty memory thing I mentioned above). My plan is to read it slowly over the next week or so, then to skim it immediately before my class, maybe even on that plane ride out?

I’ll let you know how it goes.

* I just want to note that I’m really not much of a fangirl. I meet relatively famous people quite often in the theatre world, and I keep it professional. I don’t gush, I don’t fawn. No need to worry about me making a total fool of myself out in Utah, at least, not due to fainting.

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The Big News

About a month ago I received a very nice surprise in my inbox: an email from Orson Scott Card’s assistant informing me that I had been accepted into Uncle Orson’s Literary Boot Camp this summer. I will spare you the details of what happened next because they are not exactly flattering. Suffice it to say that after some celebration I accepted my spot and secured it with a decent chunk of change.

The timing is perfect–it’s the week before I go back on contract, and I found out the news immediately after receiving the balance of a design fee for an extra gig that almost killed me this spring. That extra work is paying for the entire experience which keeps us from having to nickel and dime daily life for the next 6 months.

Over the last few weeks I’ve made plans, secured a hotel room and booked flights (plural because Kyle’s coming out with me the weekend before so we can go esplorin’– I’ve never really been out west!).  I’ve read lot of alumnus(ae)’s blogs about their experiences and, while it’s not a direct preparation because I will take none of it with me, I’ve been using my summer to write like crazy. 

I hadn’t said anything publicly about any of this because…well…I don’t really know. Part of me was afraid they’d gotten the wrong girl? Maybe people would find it strange that a costume professional who’s actually making it also wants to be a writer? That one professor from my early college years will be right and I have no real talent and you’ll all want to know how it went after I’m done and it will have been awful, awful, awful? Whatever the specific reason: it was fear based. I was scared.

But you can’t move forward if you’re consumed with terror, and I’m not interested in spinning my wheels. So here it is again:

I am one of 12 (or so) writers who made it into Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp. I am proud and amazed the first page of my little story showed enough promise to get me through those doors. I am also incredibly grateful that I get to participate in such a cool workshop. It’s going to be a long, exhausting, emotional week, but I’ll be ready. Those Midwestern farmer and manufacturer genes are good for something– I’ve never been afraid of a lot of hard work.

For a description of what I’m about to go through you can check out the official page, or do some google research. There are many amazing authors who have been through the whole process before.

Allons-y!

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The Perfect Writing Outfit

Gah! It’s a kitteh, reading a book.

I’m not generally one for a ton of kitsch in my clothes (I prefer it in my vintage homegoods, thank you), but I stumbled across this on ModCloth this afternoon, and I think I need it for those rainy cold afternoons that are perfect for writing and reading and snuggling with husbands and cats alike.

I could wear it with leggings and then never leave the house or even answer the door because LEGGINGS ARE NOT PANTS and I would only wear a sweatshirt in public if I were attending a football game or some other cold weather athletic event, and even then I’m not sure I would wear this sweatshirt. I mean, I think it may ruin my street cred as a serious fan of the sport…or any sports (which, while that may be true, I do my best to blend in…I am a costumer afterall).

But for sitting around the house and just writing? For that, it would be perfect.

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When Words Fail

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, words fail me. I can’t figure out how to express exactly what I mean. I can’t make my description match the image I have in my head. Or I don’t know for certain that the terms someone else is using are the same words I would use.

Today’s example: panniers. A good friend called and asked me to dig through our costume storage for a set she knew we owned. The theatre she’s working for this summer needs to rent them but our shop manager isn’t in town. The panniers were from a specific show, but it happened before my time at this theatre so I didn’t know them. They were worn by a specific actress, but the only set I found didn’t have any sort of label. She described them as “oversized,” which I took to mean gigantic. Like, go through the door sideways, if they were strong enough you could carry a friend around on either side of you, HUGE.

And the set I found I described as large, but not necessarily oversized. They weren’t from the beginning of the trend when panniers were used just to emphasize the size of hips (and therefore minimize the waist), but they weren’t colossal, some costume designer’s bizarre interpretation of 18th century opulence.

And so I abandoned all of my words and took this (very lovely) picture of myself wearing the panniers and sent it to my friend:

Because sometimes you just have to play dress up.

And wouldn’t you know? They were the right ones.

 

 

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My Favorite Writing Assistant

My Favorite Writing Assistant

Donna decided it was a good day to help me write, which she would do by poking her hind feet into my back and proceeding to snore and purr at the same time.

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the Homeland

The husband and I were able to go back to Michigan, our native land, this summer for about two weeks. It’s the first time we’ve made the trip since we moved away last August and it was amazing to get away.

Sometimes though, it’s hard to go home. People have busy lives and are trying to fit you in, and while you are loved and wanted, there are times when you just don’t quite belong anymore. You don’t have a place to call your own really. It can be uncomfortable and disorienting. And, for us at least, it involves a lot of driving from family house to other family house, all 45 minutes or more away from the other. Because it’s the rural Midwest and the neighboring towns just aren’t that close.

But then, of course, there’s this:

An early morning at home.

An early morning writing session on a second floor balcony at my parents’. Heaven. 

Michigan is beautiful, even more than on its surface, because it has a special place in both of our hearts.

And it’s lovely to come home. We get to see all the people we love that are so far away, and see what’s changed. we get to see everyone’s new endeavors succeeding. My Mom and Grandma will cook the things they know we like (lemon poppyseed cake! baked macaroni and cheese!), and the husband’s parents will take us out (live celtic music and gourmet food at a local winery!).  We spend time reading and sleeping and listening to the birds sing. Last night I heard an owl hooting through my open window.

And this trip I’ve spent a lot of time dreaming and writing, and sharing my writing with my family, which was a special treat. I wasn’t quite sure how everyone would react. I worried they would brush it off as another dream of their dreamer sister/niece/daughter/granddaughter. Much to my surprise and delight, they love it all.

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